I previously paired music and judicial opinions in this entry. Then I surveyed the use of humor in judicial opinions in this entry. John Browning, a partner in the Dallas office of Gordon & Rees, LLP, efficiently combines all three – music, humor and judicial opinions – in his article Legally Speaking – Lyrical Law in the August 12th issue of the The Southeast Texas Record. I would paraphrase the article for convenience, but it wouldn’t do Mr. Browning’s treatment “justice” (oops, a little of my own humor).
Seriously. I envy judges who are appointed to their positions and can break up their arid writing with the occasional oasis of levity. I cannot even tell you how many times I have stayed my typing fingers mid-pun in the course of writing a memorandum, brief or other “formal” document for a client. In law school and in my early years as an associate, I was admonished to keep the humor out for fear of creating the wrong impression. Thank goodness there are now blogs in which we pent-up technical writers can shed the mantle of formality and lay down the laughs. If it is good enough for Judge Learned Hand and Chief Justice William Rehnquist, it should be good enough for us all!